Friday, February 5, 2010

Various Thoughts and Pantheacon 2010

I will be attending the 16th annual Pantheacon 2010 in San Jose (2/12 - 2/15), which starts next week, on Friday. I have been given the great honor of presenting three workshops at this gathering, which is untypical and truly a wonderful occurrence. This has made me spend quite a bit of time preparing these presentations, all the while continuing my magickal workings and writings, engaging with my wonderful significant other and performing all of the mundane duties at my work and home. Mine is a life that is quite full, so there seems little time for other pursuits.

It amuses me to see advertisements for online fantasy gaming and other diversions. Even though these seem to be quite amazing and probably a lot of fun, they also seem to be something of a “sink hole” in one’s life in regards to available time. Since I have such a regimen of work, reading, working magick and performing research, there is no time for such diversions. I do have a few vices, such as occasionally watching a favorite series on DVD in its entirety, but then only in the midst of doing all of the other things that I have to do. I also admit that my social life is quite attenuated, since I live out in the country and its nearly an hour drive into town. Only the most compelling events will get me out of my home and away for the day or evening. So I would have to say that my life is full, and happily so.

Anyway, I am pleased to share with you the schedule for Pantheacon and some comments about the classes. If you are thinking about it or already planning on attending, I heartily invite you to come to one or all of these classes, and I will share with you my thoughts and experiences about these topics. So now I will go over the class schedule for these three classes and make some additional comments about them. Each class is approximately 90 minutes.

Title:  22 Steps of the Cycle of Initiation - Transformative Journeys
When & Where:  Friday - 03:30 PM - San Carlos
Description:  This lecture and discussion group will examine Joseph Campbell's 22 stages Hero's Underworld Cycle and compare them to the 22 trumps of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. This comparison will illuminate both the meanings of the Tarot as well as power of the Hero's Journey as it applies to individual spiritual transformation. We will also examine the Feminine Cycle of the Heroine, based on the myth of Cupid and Psyche.

I have already presented this information in a previous article, although not the in-depth analysis and exposition that the attendees of this class will be getting. However, knowing that the Tarot trumps can be perceived as being the stages of transformative initiation is a very important tool that helps one to build and facilitate initiation mystery rites for oneself or others.

Title:  Art of Ritual Evocation
When & Where:  Saturday - 09:00 PM - Santa Clara
Description:  This workshop will examine the techniques proposed for the practice of theurgy and evocation. We will examine the five step method of the old grimoires, skrying and a newly developed methodology that uses sacramental, elemental and  planetary magick combined to generate a summoned spiritual entity - earth spirit, angelic or demonic.

Workshop Goal: We will examine the terminology, spiritual hierarchy, methods of classical and alternative modern techniques of evocation and a brief chronological listing of popular grimoires. What this workshop won’t do is teach you how to perform evocation, since that would take many 90 minute sessions and considerable experimentation. The goal of this class is to make you familiar with the history of ceremonial magick, the role and use of grimoires, classical techniques of evocation and skrying, and bring up some alternative techniques.

So this workshop will go over the various mechanisms of ritual evocation, including looking over a chronological list of grimoires that will give one a fairly good insight into the history of ceremonial magick. But this class won’t actually teach you to practice ritual evocation. I also won’t go too deeply into how to perform a skrying session - just discuss how that could be incorporated into the classical five stages of ritual evocation. This class is a deep overview of the art of ritual evocation, and from the information that it shares with the attendees, they may be able to start working towards assembling their own system.

Title:  Elemental Magick - Using the Energy Theory of Magick
When & Where:  Monday - 09:00 AM - Carmel
Description:  This lecture/discussion group will examine the definitions and nature of the energy theory of magick and how it can be applied to produce more advanced methods of magick. We will examine the Vortex, Pyramid of Power and the Octagon as magickal mechanisms of empowerment.

The workshop will go over the basic structures and mechanisms that underlie an advanced use of the Energy model of ritual magick. The goal of this class will be to thoroughly cover all the things that one might need in order to put together a ritual to invoke Elemental spirits. I will be handing out a class outline with the ritual pattern to perform this kind of magick. Hopefully this material will be well received and there will be some who might even put together a ritual based on this pattern. That is my hope, so we shall see how well I present this material and what kind of questions or communication problems occur.

I will be taking my trusty laptop with me, so I will be able to write up a brief report on how each of these classes turns out. This is the first time that I am presenting this information to a large audience, so I will need some further preparation, even though the class outlines and handouts are completed. I have even determine how long each section of each class should be in order to be able to present all of the information, and have time for questions at the end. Hopefully, my judgement in this regards isn’t too optimistic or far off the mark.

Next week I will have to really focus on deepening my familiarity with the material and filling out small index cards with some of my points and more important insights about the material. I also hope to be so thoroughly knowledgeable of the presentation itself that I won’t have to rely too heavily on my notes. I would find it kind of boring myself if I attended a workshop and the presenter spent most of his time reading from an outline or cue-card notes. I also realize that having a fun and dynamic exchange will require me to look at the audience and read their expressions and interact with them. So this will be a great learning process for me to finally pull together all of the things that I have studied and practiced and make them interesting and useful to others. It will also help to grow as a writer, as I determine what kind of things folks are really interested in knowing - or not knowing.

What this means is that there won’t be very many posts to this blog in the next week or two. I won’t be getting back until the evening of February 15th, and then I will need time to catch up on my work and get re-established in my home-life. So I suspect that we are looking at a two week lapse with only some short comments about Pantheacon while I am in attendance.

I am planning some pretty interesting new articles for you, particularly one on the infamous witch turned fundamentalist pastor named Bill Schnoebelen. I have written a pretty damning article on my four years of experience with this kook, and I even was able to make some sense out of his rather ambitious and preposterous claims for occult mastery and initiatory accomplishment. I will have to break it into three parts, but it will give you a bird’s eye view into the wiccan and occult community back in the seventies. I am sure that some of you will find this semi-biographical information to be quite interesting and revealing. Also, someone really needs to present information that shows how much of a hypocrite this clown really is.  It will a classic study of a humbug!

Frater Barrabbas


  1. Didn't Bill write a book about Wicca being "Satan's little lie"? Or am I confusing him with another "turned Fundy" pastor?

    Also: enjoy P-Con! Maybe I'll get to meet you next year, should my spouse and I attend!

  2. Hi Jack - I would love to get to meet you. Yes, you are correct. Bill Schnoebelen wrote that book "Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie" - he also wrote several other books critical of Masonry, Mormonism, Harry Potter, UFOs - many other topics. If you want a good laugh, just google his name.